Paris-Nice: Simon Yates solos to victory on stage 6

Simon Yates (Orica-Scott) soloed to the stage win on the first foray into the mountains in Paris-Nice, attacking just before the top of the final climb, with 19 kilometres to go. He raised his arms in victory atop the short, steep ascent into Fayance 17 seconds before Sergio Henao (Team Sky).

The Colombian champion moved into third overall thanks to his attack, but race leader Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) tenaciously clawed his way to fourth on the stage behind Richie Porte (BMC), giving up just 12 seconds to Henao to keep the maillot jaune. The Frenchman even padded his lead over Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal) by another three seconds.

Yates moved into the top 10 thanks to his gamble.

"I had a small idea about trying something, but it all depended on how I felt and the conditions," Yates said. "It got to the moment, and I said to myself 'why not? I haven't got anything to lose so if I get caught I get caught'. So I tried, and I'm just happy it worked.

"It's one of the biggest races we do, and one of the hardest week-long races. I'm really happy to be able to win again - it's my first win of the season, and I hope this continues for a good year.

Now eighth overall at 1:37 from Alaphilippe, Yates was unsure if he could challenge for the overall podium.

"We'll see. I'm still quite far behind. It’ll be very difficult to take time back, but we can only try - we'll see what happens."

How it happened

Paris-Nice headed into the mountains for the first time of the 2017 edition on stage 6, and the riders were given an immediate wake-up call to switch power from flat land to climbing legs as they headed up the category 1 Col de l'Espigoulier from the gun.

Ben King (Dimension Data) and Cyril Gautier (AG2R La Mondiale) were the first riders to attack and were joined by Winner Anacona (Movistar) and Delio Fernandez Cruz (Delko-Marseille Provence KTM). Jarlinson Pantano (Trek-Segafredo) attacked and went across, but the peloton was just behind, and it was all back together before the summit.

The blistering pace spelled the end of the road for Cannondale-Drapac's Davide Formolo, who had taken over as their GC hopeful. Lawson Craddock also abandoned, decimating the American team.

It wasn't until 50km into the stage that a group finally went clear, and it included Alessandro De Marchi (BMC), Axel Domont (AG2R La Mondiale), Winner Anacona and José Herrada (Movistar), Michael Valgren (Astana), Ben Swift (UAE Team Emirates), Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie), Eduardo Sepulveda (Fortuneo Vital Concept), Ben King (Dimension Data) and Cyril Lemoine (Cofidis).

But when the road tilted up to the category 1 Col de Bourigaille for the first time, the breakaway disintegrated, leaving just De Marchi and Sepulveda in front.

Behind, Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) had a go to test the mettle of Alaphilippe but was quickly marked by Dan Martin (Quick-Step) and Sergio Henao (Sky).

Over the mountainous final 50km, Alaphilippe found an ally in Team Sky, who helped control the attacks over the dual ascents of the Col de Bourigaille for a possible Sergio Henao stage win.

On the second ascent of the Bourigaille, the two leaders' advantage was half a minute as Sky continued to set a brisk pace to discourage attacks, even if their GC hopes were slim, it was a dress rehearsal for the Giro d'Italia. Their efforts steadily whittled down the front group and reeled in the two escapees at last with 21km to go.

Simon Yates (Orica-Scott) launched an attack with 600m before the summit, and quickly opened a solid gap on the yellow jersey group, cresting the mountain with a 12-second lead, and tripled that on the long descent.

When Yates hit the final climb with 1.2km to go, his lead was out to 46 seconds, but the best young rider was not a threat to Alaphilippe, starting the day 2:16 behind on GC.

The race leader showed his resolve after Richie Porte attacked the final climb, rather than let a non-threatening rider go up the road, Alaphilippe neutralised his move to stamp his authority on the race.

But Porte went again, and when the Australian's move was countered by Henao, Alaphilippe might have regretted his earlier effort as he struggled to keep the Colombian champion's pace on the steep ascent. He limited his losses, but the ferocity of the attacks will cause some concern in the Quick-Step camp in the coming two mountain stages.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott4:37:51
2Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky0:00:17
3Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team0:00:26
4Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors0:00:29
5Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step FloorsRow 4 - Cell 2
6Jon Izaguirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida0:00:32
7Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro TeamRow 6 - Cell 2
8Alberto Contador (Spa) Trek-SegafredoRow 7 - Cell 2
9Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-AlpecinRow 8 - Cell 2
10Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto SoudalRow 9 - Cell 2
11Diego Ulissi (Ita) Team UAE Emirates0:00:39
12Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 11 - Cell 2
13Warren Barguil (Fra) Team SunwebRow 12 - Cell 2
14Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe0:00:58
15Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb0:01:05
16Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing Team0:01:41
17Mikel Nieve (Spa) Team Sky0:02:24
18Jan Polanc (Slo) Team UAE Emirates0:03:47
19Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:03:50
20Jarlinson Pantano (Col) Trek-SegafredoRow 19 - Cell 2
21Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Fortuneo - Vital Concept0:04:19
22Amael Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team0:04:33
23Mauro Finetto (Ita) Delko Marseille Provence KTM0:04:47
24Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team0:05:03
25Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:05:07
26Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie0:05:28
27Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Sunweb0:05:34
28Cyril Gautier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:05:47
29Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step FloorsRow 28 - Cell 2
30Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team0:05:52
31Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension Data0:05:58
32Jan Bárta (Cze) Bora-Hansgrohe0:06:03
33Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La MondialeRow 32 - Cell 2
34Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) Bahrain-MeridaRow 33 - Cell 2
35Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb0:06:09
36Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Trek-SegafredoRow 35 - Cell 2
37Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Dimension Data0:06:17
38Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:06:22
39Sebastian Henao (Col) Team SkyRow 38 - Cell 2
40Rudy Molard (Fra) FDJRow 39 - Cell 2
41Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team SunwebRow 40 - Cell 2
42Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-Scott0:06:35
43Simone Petilli (Ita) Team UAE Emirates0:06:42
44Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team0:06:48
45Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R La MondialeRow 44 - Cell 2
46Victor De La Parte (Spa) Movistar Team0:06:53
47Romain Hardy (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept0:08:30
48Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 47 - Cell 2
49Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:08:32
50Julien El Fares (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTMRow 49 - Cell 2
51Quentin Pacher (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM0:08:43
52Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie0:08:49
53Bram Tankink (Ned) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 52 - Cell 2
54Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:09:06
55Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Orica-Scott0:09:14
56Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac0:09:23
57Winner Anacona (Col) Movistar Team0:09:35
58Pierre Rolland (Fra) Cannondale-Drapac0:09:45
59Angelo Tulik (Fra) Direct Energie0:09:49
60Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:10:14
61Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Astana Pro Team0:12:11
62Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:12:47
63Manuele Mori (Ita) Team UAE Emirates0:13:51
64Ben Swift (GBr) Team UAE EmiratesRow 63 - Cell 2
65Rory Sutherland (Aus) Movistar TeamRow 64 - Cell 2
66David De La Cruz (Spa) Quick-Step Floors0:14:19
67Laurent Pichon (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept0:15:31
68Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 67 - Cell 2
69Tony Martin (Ger) Katusha-AlpecinRow 68 - Cell 2
70Alberto Losada (Spa) Katusha-AlpecinRow 69 - Cell 2
71Tom-Jelte Slagter (Ned) Cannondale-DrapacRow 70 - Cell 2
72Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 71 - Cell 2
73Thomas Leezer (Ned) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 72 - Cell 2
74Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 73 - Cell 2
75Davide Villella (Ita) Cannondale-DrapacRow 74 - Cell 2
76Philip Deignan (Irl) Team SkyRow 75 - Cell 2
77Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 76 - Cell 2
78Pierre Luc Perichon (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital ConceptRow 77 - Cell 2
79Jose Herrada (Spa) Movistar Team0:15:49
80Remy Di Gregorio (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM0:18:08
81Antoine Duchesne (Can) Direct EnergieRow 80 - Cell 2
82Youcef Reguigui (Alg) Dimension DataRow 81 - Cell 2
83Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-ScottRow 82 - Cell 2
84Olivier Le Gac (Fra) FDJRow 83 - Cell 2
85Pierre Roger Latour (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 84 - Cell 2
86Ben King (USA) Dimension DataRow 85 - Cell 2
87Delio Fernandez (Spa) Delko Marseille Provence KTMRow 86 - Cell 2
88Luka Pibernik (Slo) Bahrain-MeridaRow 87 - Cell 2
89Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-ScottRow 88 - Cell 2
90Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Team SunwebRow 89 - Cell 2
91Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 90 - Cell 2
92David Lopez (Spa) Team SkyRow 91 - Cell 2
93Jelle Wallays (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 92 - Cell 2
94Kristijan Koren (Slo) Cannondale-DrapacRow 93 - Cell 2
95Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step FloorsRow 94 - Cell 2
96Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:18:26
97Mathew Hayman (Aus) Orica-Scott0:18:39
98Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin0:23:28
99Adam James Hansen (Aus) Lotto SoudalRow 98 - Cell 2
100Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-SegafredoRow 99 - Cell 2
101Christian Knees (Ger) Team SkyRow 100 - Cell 2
102Francisco Ventoso (Spa) BMC Racing TeamRow 101 - Cell 2
103Romain Combaud (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTMRow 102 - Cell 2
104Mickael Delage (Fra) FDJRow 103 - Cell 2
105Julien Morice (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 104 - Cell 2
106Marc Sarreau (Fra) FDJRow 105 - Cell 2
107Moreno Hofland (Ned) Lotto SoudalRow 106 - Cell 2
108Grega Bole (Slo) Bahrain-MeridaRow 107 - Cell 2
109Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital ConceptRow 108 - Cell 2
110Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Katusha-AlpecinRow 109 - Cell 2
111Omar Fraile (Spa) Dimension DataRow 110 - Cell 2
112Gatis Smukulis (Lat) Delko Marseille Provence KTMRow 111 - Cell 2
113Adrien Petit (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 112 - Cell 2
114Roy Curvers (Ned) Team SunwebRow 113 - Cell 2
115Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-AlpecinRow 114 - Cell 2
116Timo Roosen (Ned) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 115 - Cell 2
117André Greipel (Ger) Lotto SoudalRow 116 - Cell 2
118Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto SoudalRow 117 - Cell 2
119Natnael Berhane (Eri) Dimension DataRow 118 - Cell 2
120Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Quick-Step FloorsRow 119 - Cell 2
121Jack Bauer (NZl) Quick-Step FloorsRow 120 - Cell 2
122Maarten Wynants (Bel) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 121 - Cell 2
123Marcel Kittel (Ger) Quick-Step FloorsRow 122 - Cell 2
124Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) AG2R La MondialeRow 123 - Cell 2
125Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital ConceptRow 124 - Cell 2
126Evaldas Siskevicius (Ltu) Delko Marseille Provence KTMRow 125 - Cell 2
127Mitch Docker (Aus) Orica-ScottRow 126 - Cell 2
128Michael Morkov (Den) Katusha-AlpecinRow 127 - Cell 2
129Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-HansgroheRow 128 - Cell 2
130Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha-AlpecinRow 129 - Cell 2
131Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 130 - Cell 2
132Michal Golas (Pol) Team SkyRow 131 - Cell 2
133Michael Gogl (Aut) Trek-SegafredoRow 132 - Cell 2
134Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJRow 133 - Cell 2
135John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-SegafredoRow 134 - Cell 2
136Zico Waeytens (Bel) Team SunwebRow 135 - Cell 2
137Matti Breschel (Den) Astana Pro TeamRow 136 - Cell 2
138Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) FDJRow 137 - Cell 2
139José Mendes (Por) Bora-HansgroheRow 138 - Cell 2
140Gregory Rast (Swi) Trek-SegafredoRow 139 - Cell 2
141Jesus Herrada (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 140 - Cell 2
142Luke Rowe (GBr) Team SkyRow 141 - Cell 2
143Davide Cimolai (Ita) FDJ0:23:41
144Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) FDJ0:23:44
145Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) Orica-ScottRow 144 - Cell 2
146Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:23:46
147Ruslan Tleubayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:23:56
148Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:24:29
149Robert Wagner (Ger) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 148 - Cell 2
150Borut Bozic (Slo) Bahrain-Merida0:24:33
151Joe Dombrowski (USA) Cannondale-Drapac0:24:35
152Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:24:47
153Tyler Farrar (USA) Dimension Data0:24:51
154Michal Kolár (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe0:25:04
155Juraj Sagan (Svk) Bora-HansgroheRow 154 - Cell 2
156Federico Zurlo (Ita) Team UAE EmiratesRow 155 - Cell 2
157Daniel Mclay (GBr) Fortuneo - Vital ConceptRow 156 - Cell 2
DNSErik Baska (Svk) Bora-HansgroheRow 157 - Cell 2
DNFAndrea Guardini (Ita) Team UAE EmiratesRow 158 - Cell 2
DNFChristophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 159 - Cell 2
DNFDimitri Claeys (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 160 - Cell 2
DNFRiccardo Minali (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 161 - Cell 2
DNFDavide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-DrapacRow 162 - Cell 2
DNFLawson Craddock (USA) Cannondale-DrapacRow 163 - Cell 2
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Points
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott15pts
2Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky12Row 1 - Cell 3
3Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team9Row 2 - Cell 3
4Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors7Row 3 - Cell 3
5Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors6Row 4 - Cell 3
6Jon Izaguirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida5Row 5 - Cell 3
7Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team4Row 6 - Cell 3
8Alberto Contador (Spa) Trek-Segafredo3Row 7 - Cell 3
9Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin2Row 8 - Cell 3
10Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal1Row 9 - Cell 3
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Sprint 1 - Plan-d'Aups-Sainte-Baume, km. 24
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe3pts
2Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Sprint 2 - Fayence, km. 168
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing Team3pts
2Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Fortuneo - Vital Concept2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Mountain 1 (Cat. 1) Col de l'Espigoulier, km. 13
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept10pts
2Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie8Row 1 - Cell 3
3Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Sunweb6Row 2 - Cell 3
4Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits4Row 3 - Cell 3
5Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors3Row 4 - Cell 3
6Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing Team2Row 5 - Cell 3
7Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team1Row 6 - Cell 3
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Mountain 2 (Cat. 2) Côte Des Tuilières, km. 116
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale7pts
2Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Fortuneo - Vital Concept5Row 1 - Cell 3
3Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie3Row 2 - Cell 3
4Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Astana Pro Team2Row 3 - Cell 3
5Winner Anacona (Col) Movistar Team1Row 4 - Cell 3
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Mountain 3 (Cat. 3) Côte Du Mont Méaulx, km. 131.5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale4pts
2Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Fortuneo - Vital Concept2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Ben Swift (GBr) Team UAE Emirates1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Mountain 4 (Cat. 1) Col De Bourigaille, km. 146
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Fortuneo - Vital Concept10pts
2Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing Team8Row 1 - Cell 3
3Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale6Row 2 - Cell 3
4Ben Swift (GBr) Team UAE Emirates4Row 3 - Cell 3
5Jose Herrada (Spa) Movistar Team3Row 4 - Cell 3
6Winner Anacona (Col) Movistar Team2Row 5 - Cell 3
7Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Astana Pro Team1Row 6 - Cell 3
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Mountain 5 (Cat. 1) Col De Bourigaille, km. 174.5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott10pts
2Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky8Row 1 - Cell 3
3David Lopez (Spa) Team Sky6Row 2 - Cell 3
4Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors4Row 3 - Cell 3
5Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors3Row 4 - Cell 3
6Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Sunweb2Row 5 - Cell 3
7Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team1Row 6 - Cell 3
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Mountain 6 (Cat. 2) Fayence, km. 193.5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott7pts
2Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky5Row 1 - Cell 3
3Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team3Row 2 - Cell 3
4Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors2Row 3 - Cell 3
5Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors1Row 4 - Cell 3
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Young riders
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott4:37:51
2Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors0:00:29
3Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb0:01:05
4Jan Polanc (Slo) Team UAE Emirates0:03:47
5Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team0:05:03
6Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:05:07
7Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie0:05:28
8Sebastian Henao (Col) Team Sky0:06:22
9Simone Petilli (Ita) Team UAE Emirates0:06:42
10Quentin Pacher (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM0:08:43
11Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Astana Pro Team0:12:11
12Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:15:31
13Olivier Le Gac (Fra) FDJ0:18:08
14Pierre Roger Latour (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 13 - Cell 2
15Luka Pibernik (Slo) Bahrain-MeridaRow 14 - Cell 2
16Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin0:23:28
17Marc Sarreau (Fra) FDJRow 16 - Cell 2
18Timo Roosen (Ned) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 17 - Cell 2
19Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 18 - Cell 2
20Michael Gogl (Aut) Trek-SegafredoRow 19 - Cell 2
21Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) Orica-Scott0:23:44
22Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:24:29
23Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:24:47
24Michal Kolár (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe0:25:04
25Federico Zurlo (Ita) Team UAE EmiratesRow 24 - Cell 2
26Daniel Mclay (GBr) Fortuneo - Vital ConceptRow 25 - Cell 2
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